2020 has changed Madrid in unimaginable ways.
Our co-founder James noticed an interesting, if sad, phenomenon upon heading out into central Madrid to film a recent video. Some of the most iconic parts of the city that are normally bustling with life—Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor among them—are eerily empty these days.
The reason? Tourism has dropped dramatically in Madrid, even after the nationwide lockdown ended in spring 2020.
Many of our favorite Madrid small businesses, especially those in the city center, depend heavily on tourism to stay afloat. If these kinds of places were to close, a part of Madrid’s heart and soul would disappear with each one.
This guide is a resource for anyone living in Madrid who wants to help support these Madrid small businesses during this rough patch. Compiled by Devour Tours co-founders James and Lauren and featuring suggestions from even more of our Madrid-based guides and friends, it’s full of the kinds of places that make Madrid the thriving, vibrant, passionate city we know and love.
Don’t live in Madrid? We’ve got you covered—many of the small businesses listed here also ship their products worldwide.
1. Pastelería La Mallorquina
This century-old pastry shop sits right on the Puerta del Sol and could easily be a tourist trap. But instead, it’s home to some of the city’s most delightful classic pastries.
Their most famous are the napolitanas—a sort of pain au chocolat—that comes filled with (you guessed it) delicious chocolate. They also have a crema (pastry cream) version that’s equally delicious. If you’re craving Spanish pastries for a snack, get together, or special occasion, this is your place, and they even have an online shop with delivery throughout Spain!
2. Casa Labra
As the holidays approach, Casa Labra usually crowds with people. Though this year will be different, they are still one of the best places in Madrid for traditional salt cod fritters and salt cod croquettes. You can quickly order their specialties, which are among Madrid’s best street foods, to go.
Located only steps away from the Puerta del Sol, next time you’re in the area, grab something to go from Casa Labra and support the hard-working people who run a piece of Madrid’s history!
We visit Casa Labra on our Tapas, Taverns & History Tour.
3. La Campana
For a quick bite on the go, nothing ever beats a calamari sandwich at La Campana (Calle de Botoneras, 6). One of Madrid’s most famous places for this signature dish, you don’t even have to go inside to order, making it a perfect bite to grab and go.
We visit La Campana on our Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour.
4. Mesón del Champiñón
One of the hallmarks of a great classic Madrid tapas bar is that it specializes in one thing. And Mesón del Champiñón takes this rule seriously.
It’s run by Francisco, whose uncle started the bar. And as the name suggests, they’re famous for one thing: champiñones, or mushrooms.
Even mushroom-haters have been converted by this place, thanks to their special mushroom tapa recipe that combines button mushrooms with chorizo, garlic, parsley and lemon juice. If you don’t eat meat, they’ll make you a version without the chorizo.
Top Tip: If you want to order another dish, grab a plate of flash-fried pimientos de padrón—these guys know how to cook them to perfection.
We visit Mesón del Champiñón on our Tapas, Taverns & History Tour.
It’s survived hundreds of years and a civil war—let’s not let COVID get the best of Botín.
Officially the world’s oldest restaurant (according to the Guinness Book of World Records), Botín was founded in 1725 and has been open ever since. It’s famous for the traditional food of this area, and especially for their suckling pig from their wood fired ovens. If you want to feel as if you’ve traveled back in time, head here for a meal.
We visit Botín on our Prado Museum Tour + VIP Botín Lunch experience.
6. El Riojano
Founded in 1855, El Riojano is one of Madrid’s most famous and classic pastry shops. Worth going to for the incredible decor alone, their sprawling tea room is an easy place to enjoy a treat while also social distancing.
Their famous soletilla cookies with a piping hot mug of chocolate caliente are what I order. If you call, they’re happy to deliver their cakes and pastries to you. Pastry chef Roberto makes everything fresh daily, on-site.
We visit El Riojano on our Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour.
7. La Casa del Abuelo
This classic Madrid tavern is a local icon. It’s been in the same family since opening in 1906, and they’re famous for one dish: gambas al ajillo, i.e. delicious garlicky shrimp.
They whip up the famous gambas right before your eyes in the tiny “kitchen” in a corner of the bar (true old-school Madrid style), and the famous dish is best paired with their own sweet red wine. So when you’re heading to central Madrid for a classic tapas crawl, make sure La Casa del Abuelo is on your list.
Top Tip: They’ve opened a couple of extra tapas bars in the area because their original bar is so small. But if you want the true Abuelo experience, make sure you go to the original at Calle Victoria, 12.
We visit La Casa del Abuelo on our Tapas, Taverns & History Tour.
Want to see how La Casa del Abuelo’s legendary gambas al ajillo come to life? Check out the video below!
8. Casa Toni
They don’t make ‘em like they used to! Casa Toni is one of the few classic Madrid bars left in the center that is increasingly filled with chains or tourist traps.
Like in every true-blue Madrid tasca, all the food is simply and quickly prepared on the grill behind the bar. And there’s always a great mix of die-hard local fans and tourists.
Try their mushrooms (champiñones) and patatas bravas (with a homemade sauce and the potatoes double-fried, as good bravas must be). Pair them with a glass of simple red—the wine list is short and perfect for this kind of rib-sticking rustic food.
Top Tip: If you’re feeling adventurous, order the famous grilled, garlicky mollejas (sweetbreads). What are they? All you need to know is that Madrid has a strong tradition of so-called organ meats. Trust us—you won’t regret it.
We visit Casa Toni on our Tapas, Taverns & History Tour.
Still hungry? Find more food-focused small businesses in our Madrid eating guide.
The Angelita team can help you choose the perfect wine (they have over twenty by the glass!), and if you prefer craft beer or cocktails they have a fantastic American-style cocktail lounge in the basement.
We visit Angelita on our Gourmet Tapas & Wine Tasting Tour.
10. Fábrica Maravillas
One of the Madrid craft beer pioneers and still one of the city center’s only microbreweries, come to Fábrica Maravillas for a quick caña or grab some of their brews to go. If you live close by, they’ll also do their best to deliver. They started offering this service during the lockdown to make sure everyone had good beer!
Don’t miss this Israeli restaurant in the Chueca neighborhood that opened in 2020. It’s super authentic and has fresh, bright flavors in all of its dishes. Try one of the delicious hummus dishes (a favorite is the classic that comes with pillowy soft fresh pita) and the shakshuka.
They give out free shots after your meal too—so it feels like a party!
This tip comes from Tamara, bagel expert and owner of the popular Mazál Bagels & Café (more on this later!).
12. Bichopalo Restaurant
Located inside the wonderful Mercado Barceló, this place is the epitome of market cuisine. It does a fabulous menú de degustación (tasting menu) for only €35 based on products from the market itself. You can’t beat that!
This tip comes from Joy, Madrid expert tour guide and the foodie behind @joyofmadrid.
Malasaña & Conde Duque
13. HanSo Cafe
For delicious coffee, brunch and cakes in Malasaña, don’t miss HanSo Café. Run by husband and wife team Nicho and Eva, they serve amazing specialty coffee, fusion food, and pastries with an Asian touch.
If you’re lucky, Eva might have made their matcha roll filled with white chocolate and macadamia nuts when you go. If so, don’t even think—order it!
14. Toma Café
Madrid’s veteran quality coffee shop, Toma Café was able to start shipping their award-winning coffee worldwide during the quarantine, surely getting many people through the long days inside! This is the perfect place to enjoy a great coffee, or a snack—their baked goods and savory sandwiches are excellent. Don’t miss the grilled cheese!
15. Eclair Madrid
This tiny shop hidden away in the Conde Duque neighborhood is a must for sweet lovers. The owner, José Manuel, fell in love with eclairs in Paris, and decided to bring the famous pastry to Madrid. Thank goodness he did!
Today, he offers flavors like passion fruit, hazelnut, raspberry and lemon merengue, just to name a few. You can order a big box, perfect for a picnic or any special occasion.
16. Quesería Cultivo
Madrid’s best cheese shop got creative throughout the lockdown by offering cheese boxes that can be shipped anywhere in Spain.
They have a variety of boxes available, but the best are their small producer boxes. Since a lot of these cheesemakers rely on restaurants to buy their cheeses, they’re in big trouble right now. By selling the small producer boxes, Quesería Cultivo hopes to keep these small businesses going (and their own as well!).
If you prefer to shop in person, they have two stores in Madrid.
17 Misión Café
For excellent coffee, brunch, and baked goods, check out Misión Café located right behind Gran Vía in the Conde Duque neighborhood. You can take your coffee to go, or stock up on their excellent coffee to make it at home.
18. De Vinos
Yolanda used to work as an architect before realizing that her true passion is wine. When she opened De Vinos just under 10 years ago, she was more of a wine lover than a wine expert. But over the years she’s perfected her craft, and turned De Vinos into one of Madrid’s coziest specialty wine bars, and really popular with the local crowd.
Swing by for a glass of wine and charcuterie board if you’re in the area. They have vino from across Spain (beyond the typical Rioja and Ribera combo), as well as international options. Beyond cheese and meats, they also have a simple tapas menu.
19. Naji Specialty Coffee
Naji Alasil opened Naji Specialty Coffee only a month before we went into lockdown. But that hasn’t stopped people from heading out to try his famous pistachio latte.
Naji comes from Iraq, where pistachios are an important part of the local diet. He wanted to create a drink that celebrates the pistachio, and he did just that. His coffees, toasts, and cakes are delicious, too.
This tiny Thai fusion takeaway restaurant is located in the heart of the Chamberí neighborhood. It’s without a doubt one of the best takeout spots in the city.
Gingerboy has recently started offering delivery exclusively through their own website (presumably to cut out the middleman and their high fees), so please do support them with an order next time you’re craving pad thai. And don’t miss their famous desserts, too!
21. Fratelli Figurato
One of Madrid’s best Neapolitan-style pizza joints, these guys have been creative in trying to make it through the slow months of the pandemic. They offer pizza and “pasta kits” to go, and you can order straight from their website. For the pasta kits, they send you ingredients and instructions so that you can prepare restaurant-quality pasta from the comfort of your home.
22. La Colectiva Cafe
Hidden away in the Chamberí neighborhood is La Colectiva Café, a specialty coffee shop and vegan café. They have the best chai latte in town, and a tempting array of pastries, toasts, sandwiches, and soups that change daily. All of their food and drinks can be prepared to go, and their downstairs area is spacious if you want to eat in.
23. Le Qualitè Tasca
Le Qualitè Tasca is an intimate, cozy escape along the lively Ponzano strip. Owners Marcos and María take great pride in local Spanish products, only working with small artisanal vendors, producers and vineyards from right here within Spain. Their ever-changing seasonal menu features fresh quality ingredients and traditional Spanish flavors that bring “cariño” [or love] from their kitchen to your table.
Don’t miss: Costilla de vaca. Slowly cooked for hours, this meat is fall-off-the-bone delicious. Another great pick are the tacos de morcilla de León, and save room for dessert in the form of the baked cheesecake featuring cheese from family-owned Queixos Castelo. To drink, go with a gin Lollipop, a cocktail made with Lollipop gin and hibiscus flavored tonic water.
This tip comes from Lauren, a food lover and Madrid-based moving abroad life coach.
24. Mazál Bagels & Café
Owned by Tamara and Luis, at Mazál you’ll find Madrid’s most authentic NY-style bagels, boiled and baked fresh daily. You can support them by ordering their fresh bagels to take away, as well as sandwiches, brunch options, and homemade cakes. Everything is baked fresh every day!
Salamanca & Goya
25. Casa Dani
One of the most famous places for tortilla in all of Madrid, Casa Dani is located in the Mercado de la Paz in the Salamanca neighborhood. Their incredible tortilla and excellent menú del día are worth heading out for—but if you prefer to enjoy their food from home, you can order to go. They deliver within five kilometers of the bar with Glovo, UberEats and Deliveroo.
This delicious Iranian restaurant serves market-fresh food out of their restaurant near Manuel Becerra.
A popular spot pre-COVID, it’s now essential to reserve if you want to eat in. But they also do their dishes to go, and have even adapted and put themselves on some delivery apps such as Deliveroo. Don’t miss their meatballs in a saffron tomato sauce if they have them when you go!
Royal Palace & Casa de Campo
27. El Anciano Rey de los Vinos
This classic Madrid tavern, painted bright red and located steps away from the Royal Palace, could easily be a tourist trap—but don’t be fooled!
El Anciano Rey de los Vinos is run by Belén, who took it over from her father—who had worked there since he was only 15! Belén has given the ancient tavern a slightly modern twist, with some delicious tapas like their famous oxtail fritter, the “regalito de rabo de toro.”
They also have a great terrace if you prefer to eat outside—just make sure to call and reserve.
We visit El Anciano Rey de los Vinos on our Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour.
28. Casa Mingo
This roasted chicken institution located in the Principe Pio area (close to the Royal Palace) is a great option for lunch any day of the week. You can order their famous chicken to go (don’t forget to add in a tortilla and some chorizo, too) or eat in at their rooftop terrace in the fresh air.
If you go, a bottle of Asturian cider and a hunk of Cabrales blue cheese is non-negotiable. These guys have been here since 1888, so let’s make sure they stay alive and well a lot longer!
29. Obrador San Francisco
One of Madrid’s bread temples, Obrador San Francisco is a place worth visiting to stock up on all your bread needs. If you have the freezer space, their classic sourdough loaf freezes well, and if you go on a Friday don’t miss their spicy bread (go early or it sells out).
30. Madrid & Darracott
Luke Darracott and Roque Madrid are self-professed wine lovers who run one of Madrid’s best wine shops. Their mission is to share the stories behind every bottle, and they do that through their curated selection of Spanish wines, their in-person and virtual wine tastings, and, recently, their wine boxes.
You can visit them in person in Madrid’s La Latina neighborhood, or get in touch about ordering a box of Spanish wines. They ship throughout Spain (for free!).
31. Díaz y Larrouy
Nowadays, Cava Baja is the street to hit for a serious tapas crawl. But back in 1992, before this street was lined with tapas bars, there was one place the locals loved to come for a quiet drink and tasty tapas.
Díaz y Larrouy (Calle Cava Baja, 6) kicked off the Cava Baja craze along with a few other spots and continues to serve an excellent range of wines by the glass, as well as fantastic tostas (delicious things on bread). If you’re missing a good old Madrid-style tapeo, swing by and pull up a pew at the low-slung bar. It’s happily also one of the few places in Madrid that does cava by the glass.
Top Tip: Try the tosta de sobrasada (a soft pork sausage from the Balearic Islands), or they also do a delicious one with melted goat cheese. Or just ditch the bread and get a plate of cured meats and cheese to accompany your big glass of red.
32. Casa Gerardo
There’s La Latina, and then there’s DEEP La Latina. Casa Gerardo lands very definitely in the second group.
The big clay vats down the back attest to the fact that it was once a bodega, or bulk wine shop, but has since morphed into one of Madrid’s coziest little tapas bars. Their menu varies, but those who know come here for the cheese and the wine. They have a fabulously stinky selection of Spanish and madrileño cheeses out the front, and a very long cheese menu if you’re not comfortable just pointing.
Swing by here if you’d like to discover the quieter, more local side of La Latina.
33. Vinos 11 Casa Dani
Casa Dani isn’t quite as famous as its neighbor Casa Gerardo, and it’s certainly more low key. But it’s the kind of place that reminds of Madrid’s roots: a simple, spartan tapas bar, with a white-aproned man serving cañas and a sweaty leg of cured ham hanging from a hook on the wall.
So if you want to experience true, old-school Madrid, this is your tapas hangout. Dinner may simply consist of a plate of fine jamón, a serious cured sheep cheese from La Mancha and a big juicy tomato sliced up and drizzled with olive oil. But what a dinner!
Some bars truly do stand the test of time. And Caracoles, aka Casa Amadeo, is one of them.
Amadeo is a silver-haired, silver-tongued trooper who landed in Madrid from the countryside in 1939, and has spent the last 80 years working in taverns in Madrid’s Rastro flea market. He’s famous for making Madrid’s best caracoles, or snails, as well as a range of other old-school dishes.
Even if you’re not a fan of snails, the spicy sauce served with this dish of juicy mollusks is perfect for dipping your bread in. Or if that’s still a stretch, just swing by for a vermouth and stand in this glorious bar that hasn’t changed much in half a century.
While you can swing by the bar, they’re also doing takeaway food which you can order via their website. So ditch the pizza—order a serving of snails!
Antón Martín/Tirso de Molina
The menú del día is an institution in Spain. But while it’s always filling, it’s not necessarily the most gastronomic affair.
At Badila (Calle de San Pedro Martir, 6), owner, waiter and head chef Miguel has spent years turning out a daily menu that is hands down one of Madrid’s best. From garlicky grilled sea bass to killer gazpacho, this man knows how to put together a rustic three-course lunch with an elegant touch. The wine selection is also very good, if you feel like ordering a bottle and making a true meal of it.
Top Tip: They’re open for lunch daily, and dinner on Friday and Saturdays. Be sure to get there around 1:30 p.m. or 2 p.m. for lunch—this place will fill up fast and doesn’t take reservations.
It wasn’t long ago that really good Mexican food was hard to find in Madrid. But in the last few years, there’s been an explosion of excellent Mexican restaurants and cantinas.
Uriel Coria runs this small but very popular joint in the Mercado de Antón Martín. The menu is divided between an excellent selection of freshly prepared tacos, nachos and enchiladas, along with an always surprising daily fixed price menu.
Top Tip: If it’s early evening, swing by for their excellent margarita and michelada deals (weekdays only). They also do takeout if you live or work nearby.
37. Dónde Sánchez
Dónde Sánchez owner Paz once ran an art gallery, but gave up the art world to share her passion for great food and wine in the Antón Martín market. She’s now developed a loyal following of clients who swing by to enjoy one of her many excellent vermouths or a selection from her range of hard-to-find cheeses.
She also has a great range of Spanish gourmet products, from spider crab paté to perhaps Spain’s best potato chips, made by a guy back in her village in Castilla-La Mancha.
Top Tip: Her stall operates as a shop and a mini-bar, so we suggest grabbing a drink, and then picking up a bottle of wine and a few delicious things to go.
38. La Fisna
In the last few years, Madrid’s wine bar scene has exploded. Where you’d once be lucky to get much more than a glass (or tumbler!) of simple red wine at many of the tapas bars in the historic centre, the capital is finally getting its wine game in order. And leading the pack of wine bars is La Fisna.
They have an incredible selection of wines by the glass—and this makes it the perfect place to explore Spain’s incredible wine diversity. Also, while their kitchen may be tiny, they turn out some of the capital’s best tapas.
Top Tip: If you want to grab a bottle to go, they have a handy wine shop out the back. This truly is a wine lover’s paradise!
39. Los Chuchis
When Englshman Scott and his partner opened Los Chuchis about 10 years back, it was a revelation. English-inpsired food in Madrid? Sunday roast?!
With Jamie Oliver recipe books alongside photos of Queen Elizabath on the shelf, you can clearly see the influences behind the mix of dishes in this bustling Madrid bistro. It’s small, but the food is rich and delicious.
Top Tip: Try the Camembert studded with roasted garlic, or see if there are sausages and mustard on the menu. Swing by for a fixed price lunch at the bar during the week, or book a table with friends on the weekend and enjoy the true Sunday roast experience.
40. La Caníbal
Wine on tap in Madrid? It took Caníbal in Lavapiés to bring this novelty to the capital.
Along the back wall are a row of metal taps serving up young, natural wines from the surrounding provinces. Waiters serve them by the glass or in small carafes, and the selection is always light, fresh and…sometimes a little experimental. They also have an excellent range of Spanish and international craft beers by the glass, and their cheese boards are epic.
Top Tip: If you’re hungry, get the tortilla gallega, a delicious made-to-order tortilla española laced with smoky chorizo and grelos (aka Galician chard). Keep in mind they also do growlers of wine and beer to take away, if you decide to take something home or just want to pick up for a picnic in the park.
41. Melo’s Bar
This Galician bar is a blast from the past. And long may it live.
Owners Ramón and Encarnita are a couple who were—apparently—once married. But even divorce couldn’t stop them from turning out some of Madrid’s most famous sandwiches.
Top Tip: You come here for the sandwich: the sneaker. The slipper. However you want to translate “zapatilla” it’s a massive ham and cheese melt, using Galician ingredients and the longest slices of bread this side of the Duero River. Also, if you want to feel really local, order a cuenquito of white Galician wine to wash down the melted cheese.
Tucked away on a side street in Lavapiés, this cute little Italian bakery and pizzeria offers authentic homemade treats from Tuscany, from calzoni to torta della nonna. Whether you want to grab a bite on the go or bring dessert home, stop by if you’re in the neighborhood.
This tip comes from Daphne, founder of Madrid restaurant blog Naked Madrid.
43. Bendito Vinos y Vinilos
Enjoy discovering original (the weirder and funkier, the better) wines at this unique place inside the Mercado de San Fernando in the Lavapiés neighborhood. Natural wines are what they live for here, so trust that you will be able to find some of the best bottles from Spanish producers by the bottle and by the glass. If they have Nieva York by Microbio Wines, order it. It’s gold.
This tip comes from Paula Móvil, Madrid based food writer and face behind @getinmybellyyyyy.
Huertas & Cortes
44. Casa González
Casa González is a Madrid institution and one of the best places in town for wine and cheese. It was founded in 1931 by the current owner Paco’s grandfather. It quickly became one of the most popular delis in the neighborhood.
This place may look like an innocent neighborhood deli, but in the 1940s it was a secretive meeting point for Madrid’s anti-fascist rebels! Today, the shop is one of the best in the city for the quality of their products.
If you don’t feel like eating in, they sell everything to go—it is a deli, after all! So skip the supermarket and head to Casa González.
We visit Casa González on our Huertas Neighborhood Food & Market Tour.
45. Pan de Pi
Pan de Pi is a slice of Galicia in Madrid. It was founded in 2013 by a Galician family and is run by the mother, Pilar.
This place is famous for its home-baked breads and creamy cow’s milk cheeses. They strive to bring old Galician traditions to Madrid, using old-fashioned grains and cereals instead of commercial ones, and all their doughs are made by hand. Their cakes are baked on site, and their breads are baked in one of Madrid’s oldest ovens, a wood burning stone oven that dates all the way back to 1735 and is found in the city center (in the Museo del Pan Gallego just off of Plaza Mayor).
Try the cheesecake—you won’t regret it!
We visit Pan de Pi on our Huertas Neighborhood Food & Market Tour.
Run by the nicest husband and wife team in town, Plenti added a much-needed café option to the Literary Quarter in 2017. Sophie and Gonzalo make delicious toast, eggs, open-faced sandwiches, and baked goods. You can order anything to go—perfect for a socially distanced picnic lunch.
47. La Sanabresa
One of Madrid’s most traditional spots for a menú del día, La Sanabresa (Calle del Amor de Dios, 12) is an institution worth fighting to keep. There is usually a line out the door for lunch during the week, so definitely plan to arrive early. They do take reservations for groups, as well as for dinner and on weekends.
As the cool weather approaches, don’t miss their full cocido madrileño on Tuesdays. As a part of the menú del día, it’s a great deal.
The best bread bakery in the Literary Quarter, Moega makes classic breads with unprocessed flour from Galicia. Try their corn bread blend, or their whole wheat boule. Their empanadas are also delicious, especially the tuna one.
We visit Moega on our Huertas Neighborhood Food & Market Tour.
Madrid is filled with places claiming “fresh churros and chocolate,” but what most people don’t know is that the fritters usually come from nearby factories each morning. For the real deal, don’t miss Chocolat, run by Alfonso and his team. You can eat in or order churros and chocolate to go (highly recommended!).
Top Tip: The churros are great, but don’t skip the porras—an even fatter and chewier version of Spain’s famous fried dough.
We visit Chocolat on our Huertas Neighborhood Food & Market Tour.
50. Santos & Desamparados
For unbelievably good cocktails including an entire section of drinks based on sherries, don’t miss Santos & Desamparados. This cozy cocktail bar is hidden in the Literary Quarter and feels almost like a speakeasy when you enter. Each table is practically in a separate room, and it’s a vibe unlike any other cocktail bar in town!
This tip comes from Joy, Madrid expert tour guide and the foodie behind @joyofmadrid.
51. Cervecería Alemana
Don’t let yourself be misguided by the touristy image this bar promotes because, in reality, it is a true gem that should never cease to exist. Not only because they serve some perfectly poured beers on tap (Guinness, anyone?), but also because of their outstanding boquerones en vinagre (marinated pickled anchovies), vintage decor, and most importantly: their timeless waiters, dressed in an impeccable old school fashion with white jackets and black tie. They’re the true characters that make this place a classic!
This tip comes from Paula Móvil, Madrid-based food writer and face behind @getinmybellyyyyy.
Atocha, Delicias & Legazpi
52. Pupusería Madrid Río Grande
Located near the Atocha train station, this hole-in-the-wall pupusa restaurant brings El Salvador’s most famous food to madrileños. The owners are super friendly and happy to top you up with their spicy cabbage salad and warm tomato sauce. You can also order their pupusas to go—they don’t deliver, but sending a Glovo (or similar service) is an easy option.
53. Bodega Salvaje
Located near Legazpi, Bodega Salvaje serves delicious craft beer and flavorful dishes from Castilla-La Mancha. The portions are generous, prices are great and service is on point. There’s even a terrace. Don’t leave without trying the “birramisu” for dessert!
This tip comes from Daphne, founder of Madrid restaurant blog Naked Madrid.
54. La Lastra
Dionisio and his team run this small and very local bar (Paseo de las Delicias, 132) with efficiency and joy. There’s always great ambience no matter what time of the day it is, and they have excellent raciones—their cazón (marinated and fried dogfish), berberechos (cockles) and boquerones (anchovies) are to die for!
55. Vinoteca Borboleta
This vinoteca is run by two sisters that learned the trade from their parents. They have an ever-rotating selection of wines by the glass. Come here for the most delicious huevos rotos you’ll find south of Atocha, with the special touch of their mom’s cooking.
Other Great Madrid Small Businesses to Support
Arguably the best patatas bravas in Madrid, Docamar is found off the beaten path in the Quintana neighborhood. While the bravas get all the love, their menú del día is a great deal, and their tortilla and calamari sandwiches are also awesome (and cheap). Grab a sandwich to go and enjoy it from home any night of the week.
Out in the barrio of Pueblo Nuevo, Isamar (Calle de Emilio Ferrari, 42) is the kind of classic Madrid lunch restaurant that is increasingly few and far between. It opened in 1958, and is now run by Paco (the son of the founder, also called Paco) and they serve up a delicious range of classic Spanish meat and fish dishes, along with a short homemade selection of paellas.
Paco’s sister is the cook, and the food is always market-fresh, simple but packed with flavor. Paco is a wine lover and so—in a rare case for such a rustic neighborhood restaurant—there is an incredible list of Spanish and international wines available by the bottle.
So if you feel like getting out into Madrid’s neighborhoods, jump on the metro, get off at Pueblo Nuevo and indulge in a classic Spanish long lunch!
Top Tip: Extend your long lunch experience by starting off with a glass of vermouth and a free tapa at the bar before heading through to the dining room. Oh, and don’t forget to book—this place is small!
58. Roll Me Up
The best cinnamon rolls in Madrid aren’t found in a shop (yet!) but rather made to order and delivered, still warm, straight to your doorstep, all courtesy of Roll Me Up. Try their creative flavors like Oreo cookie, sweet pecan, and pistachio. These make the perfect treat—especially if in quarantine!